Two-Year-Old Dies in Memorial Day Weekend Crash

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California Highway Patrol

A two-year-old girl died and a 22-year-old woman was severely injured during a single-vehicle rollover on Malibu Canyon Road shortly before 9 p.m. on Friday, May 27, according to the California Highway Patrol (CHP).

The driver of the vehicle was transported by helicopter to Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center and later identified by CHP as Magdalena Lisi of Canoga Park.

CHP reported that Lisi was driving northbound on Malibu Canyon Road near Pepperdine University when her 2011 Kia began drifting to the right. Lisi veered off the road and collided with a guardrail before over-correcting to the left to regain control of the vehicle. 

The vehicle then struck the hillside and overturned just south of Seaver Drive. The two-year-old girl was sitting on the right rear passenger side of the vehicle and died from her injuries at the scene of the collision. 

“Lisi suffered serious, non-life threatening injuries,” CHP Officer Leland Tang said. “She was transported to the hospital and then she was released and booked. We do a blood draw on fatal collisions where there is a possibility of impairment. She did have objective symptoms of impairment at the collision scene. Toxicology reports do take about three to four weeks.”

The connection between Lisi and the two-year-old girl has not been released.

Tang also reported that Lisi is being charged with gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated.

The collision closed Malibu Canyon Road in both directions for nearly four hours and reopened shortly after 1 a.m. on Saturday, May 28.

Memorial Day weekend

In contrast to last year’s holiday weekend where more than 400,000 people visited Malibu beaches, the Los Angeles County Fire Department (LACoFD), Lifeguard Division reported a steep decline in visitors.

Approximately 98,250 people visited Malibu beaches during the three-day weekend, according to LACoFD Captain Dan Murphy. 

“Monday was busy, but it was kind of quiet otherwise,” Murphy said. “There were some big rescues at Zuma Beach. The surf really started to push in yesterday, so we got some bigger rip currents, more dangerous conditions and some rescues.”

The total number of preventive actions was estimated around 3,082, according to Murphy. 

In addition, 23 rescues were reported, and the lifeguard division made 27 medical calls. The numbers also included six missing persons and 26 emergency vehicle responses. 

“With the overcast weather and a little bit of drizzle, the crowds just didn’t come and they didn’t get in the water like they have in the past,” Murphy said. “We enjoy the work that we do, but it is kind of an interesting change from what we’ve seen in the past few years.”

Memorial Day weekend also brought back the Malibu/Lost Hills Sheriff’s Station’s Beach Team to the shore for the season. Deputies on the Beach Team work with the City of Malibu to ensure safety on and near the beach during the summer influx of visitors. One sergeant and six to eight deputies patrol the beaches throughout the summer months, ending on Labor Day weekend.

Lieutenant James Royal of the Malibu/Lost Hills Sheriff’s Station reported that the holiday weekend was successful for the Beach Team.

While weather patterns brought a thick haze of clouds in the mornings, partially sunny skies were not enough of a draw to bring in the crowds. Depleted amounts of sand on the beaches across Malibu also did not help.

“We’ve got a lot less beach up here and Zuma Beach keeps shrinking,” Murphy said. “We’re getting a little bit of sand. In the past, the south swell used to bring sand and it doesn’t appear to really be building our beach like it has in the past.”

Regardless of sand, sun, surfers or sunbathers, Murphy assured that the lifeguards on Malibu beaches are ready to serve under any condition.

“We’ll be out here making rescues no matter what.”